It’s a sad day for “Star Wars” fans and those who have worked on the franchise. Today, news broke that Kenny Baker, the actor who portrayed the beloved character R2-D2 in six films, had passed away after a long illness. The British actor rose to fame after taking on the role of the droid in 1977, and has since been a key factor in the “Star Wars” universe.
Upon heading the news of his passing, Mark Hamill tweeted a special message in remembrance of his dear co-star. “A lifelong loyal friend. I loved his optimism and determination. He WAS the droid I was looking for!” he wrote, quoting “Star Wars.”
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 13, 2016
Ewan McGregor, who worked with Baker on the prequels, also paid tribute and expressed how sorry he was to hear the news.
So sorry to hear about this. It was lovely working with Kenny. Kenny Baker, Star Wars R2-D2 actor, dies aged 81 https://t.co/9HW6f3MWZl
— Ewan McGregor (@mcgregor_ewan) August 13, 2016
“When I was a kid nothing inspired me more than ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Time Bandits,’” wrote Gary Whitta, screenwriter on “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” “Kenny Baker was a big part of both. Alas.”
When I was a kid nothing inspired me more than Star Wars and Time Bandits. Kenny Baker was a big part of both. Alas. https://t.co/NNh8vjU1NN
— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) August 13, 2016
Director Edgar Wright, Morgan Fairchild, who appeared with Baker in the film “Sleeping Beauty,” Kevin Smith, Guillermo del Toro and many more friends and fans expressed their condolences on social media.
RIP R2D2. Farewell Fidget, Time Bandit. Goodbye Mister Kenny Baker. pic.twitter.com/wuiQuCH7g6
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) August 13, 2016
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) August 13, 2016
A great one- And, like Napoleon, his stature was measured not from head-to-ground but head-to-sky. A brilliant man. https://t.co/wQMsQ5Sjoz
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) August 13, 2016
— Pegg News (@simonpegg) August 13, 2016
— Warwick Davis (@WarwickADavis) August 13, 2016
Sorry to hear of the passing of Kenny Baker.R2D2 to many,one half of "The Mini Tones" to me. pic.twitter.com/BRilcVDntW
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) August 13, 2016
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 13, 2016
Kenny Baker, actor behind R2-D2, dies https://t.co/SmMSCOQfCo Hate to hear this. I worked w Kenny on Sleeping Beauty-lovely man-lovely soul
— Morgan Fairchild (@morgfair) August 13, 2016